This is the second iteration of the conference, with the first one occurring in 2018 after Exercise Trident Javelin where LANDCOM was first certified as a Multi-Corps Land Component Command (MCLCC). The conference aim was to share best practices in NATO legal procedures and develop a common understanding of key legal issues across the Alliance.
Conference organizer and key host, LANDCOM’s Chief Legal Advisor (LEGAD), U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Mary Ann Bowery, originally planned for conference attendees to attend in person over three days at LANDCOM’s Izmir headquarters. Travel restrictions due to coronavirus turned the conference into a single day event conducted by video teleconference.
It was still an amazing opportunity to bring together legal advisors from across the NATO Allied Command Operations, Allied Command Transformation, and our Allied Partners,
she said. “We were able to share our experiences and important lessons learned from our exercises during the past year and discuss important trends in the area of LAWFARE.”
LAWFARE is the strategy of using or misusing law as a substitute for traditional means to achieve an operational objective. In addition to this, the conference focused on land specific perspectives and challenges at the Corps and Joint level, particularly with regard to legal operations in an Article V scenario. Targeting, humanitarian law, detention/POW operations, and NATO doctrine on rules of engagement, and lessons learned from exercise Trident Jupiter 2019 were also on the agenda for discussion.
Netherlands Army Colonel Jan Stinissen, Chief LEGAD for Joint Force Command Brunssum, led a discussion on TRJU19 and zeroed in on one key lesson learned.
“We demonstrated our ability to command and control Article V operations,” he said. “At the same time, such a large and complex exercise offered perfect opportunities to further improve, for example in areas where we still tend to take an approach based on our recent experience in crisis response operations.”